Floyd Loyal Trombley, 87, of Sparta, died Thursday, July 22, 2021 at his home after a courageous battle with cancer.
Floyd was born on January 8, 1934 in Ellenburg Depot, New York. He liked to tell people that he shared his birthday with Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, but was one year older. He was the twelfth of thirteen children and grew up in Mineville, New York, just a short distance from the Canadian border. Floyd enlisted in the US Army on his 17th birthday, the beginning of a long and successful career of service to his country. Shortly after his enlistment, he deployed with the 45th Infantry Division to fight in the Korean War. Floyd would also serve two tours in the Vietnam War for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. He retired from the Army as a First Sergeant in 1985 after 34 years of military service, most of those spent as a combat engineer. From there he added three more careers to his resume: heavy equipment instructor for the Maintenance Team at Fort McCoy, computer instructor for the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center at Fort McCoy, and transporter for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department before finally fully retiring at the age of 72.
When stationed in Germany, Floyd met and married the love of his life, Heidi Wenzel, in 1961. They had three daughters and spent the first half of their marriage as an Army family, living in multiple places until 1982 when they finally settled down in Sparta, WI, where Floyd loved living. He was a proud and long-time Rotarian. He volunteered for many years as an usher at St. Patrick’s Parish and even spent time driving the Zamboni at the ice rink. Floyd and Heidi spent many hours remodeling their house and landscaping the yard. And while he bowled for many, many years, the golf course was his second home. He was often the first one on the course in spring and the last one to leave in the fall while boasting that his was the fastest cart out there. He enjoyed listening to music, watching Jeopardy, spending time with good friends, playing computer games, woodworking, and Skyping with his family.
Floyd is survived by his three daughters, Liz (Brian) Whitehead of Sparta, WI, Pam (USA, Major [Ret] Tim) White of Thornton, NH, and Christina Trombley, Ph.D. of Ankeny, IA; five grandchildren, Katie (USAF, TSgt. Jered Brueggen) Whitehead, Megan (Fiancé Ryan Rupp) Whitehead, Nathan (girlfriend Kayla Macrafic and her children, Peyton and Liam) Whitehead, Spencer White, and USAF, 2nd Lt. Shelby White; one great-granddaughter Rae Elizabeth Whitehead; sister-in-law, Gisela Heise and nephew, Michael (Susi) Heise. He was preceded in death by his wife, Heidi; parents Emille and Hazel (Hool); his twelve siblings; brothers-in-law, Heinz Heise and Norbert Schaefer; close friends, Jim and Mary Ann Rader; and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian burial will be 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 30, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta, with Father Eric Berns officiating. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Sparta.
Family and friends are invited to call from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 29 at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, and on Friday from 10 a.m. until time of services at the church. Memorials may be made to the Sparta Rotary Club to support the Korean War Memorial, Gundersen Hospice, or Freedom Honor Flight – La Crosse. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.
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